Stocks Headed for a Strong Finish

Stocks are headed for a sharply higher finish in trading today, with all three major indexes currently near session highs, amid hopes that lawmakers will resolve the fiscal cliff issue before the year-end deadline. Investors’ sentiment has been also boosted by some solid data from the housing market.

At last check, the Dow Jones was trading 1.41% higher at 12,766.13, the S&P 500 was trading 1.76% higher t 1,383.84, and the Nasdaq was trading 1.96% higher at 2,909.

All three major indexes surged today after congressional leaders said they were confident of reaching a deal to reduce the U.S. deficit before Christmas. Over the weekend, President Obama also said that he is confident that the fiscal cliff issue could be dealt by lawmakers. President Obama and congressional leaders last Friday began talks to reach a deal on reducing the U.S. fiscal cliff.

Hopes of a possible deal before the year-end deadline boosted investors’ risk appetite. Meanwhile, positive developments in the euro zone also helped in lifting sentiments. According to a report from Reuters, finance ministers of euro zone countries are expected to tentatively approve the disbursement of 44 billion euros in emergency loans to debt-laden Greece on Tuesday. However, Greece will receive the money on December 5 if it meets all remaining condition, the Reuters report noted.

Stocks extended their gains after a report from the National Association of Realtors showed that existing home sales rose unexpectedly in the month of October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate 4.79 million units. Meanwhile, a report from the National Association of Home Builders showed that homebuilder sentiment rose in November, the seventh straight month of gain.

All sectors in the S&P 500 are currently near session highs. The gains are being led by Industrials, which are currently trading 1.63% higher.

Among the major gainers in late trading are Tyson Foods Inc. (NYSE: TSN), which is currently trading 11.26% higher at $18.78, Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW), which is currently trading 6.25% higher at $33.98, and Cirrus Logic Inc. (NASDAQ: CRUS), which is currently trading 8.86% higher at $30.77.



Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.